Today’s wedding is breathtaking – there are moments here when I forgot to breathe, the images are so beautiful! I love the elegance that runs through the whole day, the smiles, the black and white images, the little details and the spectacular venue Nick and Lucy chose for their Surrey wedding.
“Our flowers were arranged by the lovely Lisa Jordan. We were really keen to stick to soft pastels to fit with our theme, so I went with pale pinks and ivory in my bouquet – sweet avalanche roses, ivory spray roses, ivory freesias and eucalyptus – whilst the bridesmaids had the same in just ivory. We bought all of the vases and mirror plates ourselves for the centre pieces as it worked out a little cheaper, then asked Lisa to arrange displays of white lilies, eucalyptus and grasses. We had pale blue sashes on the chairs so we kept the centre pieces neutral which looked really smart. The mother of the groom put together little posies for the pew ends at the church which we brought with us to the venue in little jam jars to decorate the bar area.”
My dress was one of the first dresses we saw and it just felt right when I tried it on. I don’t believe in the idea of ‘THE’ dress, but you do just know if it’s right for you. The assistants in the shop commented on how much I was smiling when I tried on my dress, which felt like a tell-tale sign. It was so elegant and romantic, but also with some striking features like the back. We’re so attached to the dress we always refer to it as ‘her’ or ‘Annabel’, the name of the style given by the designer, Sassi Holford! We bought it in a fantastic shop in Otford called ‘Brides Dress Revisited’. They sell second hand designer dresses, so you are getting very high quality but not with the scary price tag! I was very lucky as my dress had actually never been worn – so I effectively got a beautiful, brand new designer dress but for less than half the price! I cannot recommend Brides Dress Revisited enough – the staff were really helpful and friendly. They also have a fantastic seamstress, Andrea, attached to the shop who was incredible.
Images are by Essex wedding photographer Greg Coltman, who comes very highly recommended indeed! (Nick & Lucy’s review continues after the images… don’t miss it!)
You can discover more from Greg here:
Looking through the photos was an absolute joy as we relived every moment. Greg has managed to capture the very essence of the day, something that our guests consistently agree on. We have also enjoyed the surprise shots from moments that we might have otherwise missed. It’s lovely to be able to see our guests enjoying the day almost as much as we did. We now cannot wait to start printing copies and proudly displaying them around the house!
The English Wedding Blog interview: Nick and Lucy
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
Our venue gave us a list of recommended suppliers which we dutifully went through and looked at each of the websites. We knew immediately that Greg was the one to get in touch with as we really liked his style – a very natural window into the day.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
We LOVED Greg, we were so happy with everything! From the first time we met up with him nearly a year before the wedding it was clear that there was a connection and we were thinking along the same lines. We talked through the day step-by-step and we knew we could trust him implicitly. We met again not long before the wedding and couldn’t believe how quickly a couple of hours passed! It was all so easy.
On the day itself, Greg went above and beyond. He struck just the right balance, marshalling people where necessary and also stepping back to capture scenes unobserved. We have received so many comments from our guests about how wonderful they thought he was, in particular his cheery attitude and clear dedication. Greg also seemed to know instinctively when to take us aside to capture the best light; reflective moments we will always cherish. He listened to our requests on the day and we never felt restricted to purely what we had arranged beforehand. His creative flair really came through towards the end of the night when he came up with some fantastic impromptu ideas involving cake sparklers, we had such fun!
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
The first pictures we saw were the sneak previews for his blog whilst we were still on honeymoon. We fell in love with them and couldn’t resist showing them to anyone and everyone! We then received the full set shortly after returning home – we were particularly impressed by the short turn-around. The presentation was really sweet, although no spoilers here!
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Traditional elegance, with a contemporary twist.
Your wedding style or theme:
A classic English summer wedding
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Most of our suppliers were recommended by our venue, however we also found others through our friends and contacts.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Our top tips would be:
– Don’t be afraid to make some things yourself! It might seem like a daunting task (for example when we had to cut nearly 500 pieces of ribbon!) but it can be great fun and remember many hands make light work.
– Shop around to make sure you are getting value for your money. Sometimes second-hand decorations can be a good option.
– Use your contacts! Now is a good time to call in those favours…
… and which elements are you glad you spent more on?
Our venue was our biggest expense; however it was totally worth it. We thought long and hard about what was important to us and we have no regrets with our decisions. It was great to have so much space in such a beautiful setting and the staff were incredible. The food was also amazing.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
We were lucky enough to have a family friend who runs a printing business who kindly offered to help us print our invitations and order of services. We wanted quite a clean, classic design (with not too many ‘loopy’ fonts!) to which we added our own touch of a hand-tied blue bow. It was a fairly manual process attaching all of the bows but we had plenty of help.
Nick’s aunt kindly wrote out all of the place names for the tables in beautiful calligraphy. They were so neatly done that some guests were convinced they had been printed!
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
The cake was a really important for me – love cake!! We found a fantastic cake maker just around the corner from my mum’s house who makes the most stunning, delicious cakes. We were really keen to have a cake with several tiers to complement the tall ceilings in the reception room, but having more than 3 tiers can get really expensive! Sharon came up with a cunning plan to have the top and bottom tiers made out of polystyrene so it gave the impression of a 5 tier cake. We had an extra cutting cake in the kitchen to make up the numbers which allowed us to have 4 different flavours; cherry and amaretto, raspberry and vanilla, baileys and a lemon cake. Whilst we didn’t have a traditional fruit cake to keep after the wedding, we have been able to keep the decorated polystyrene tiers which are beautiful keepsakes. Sharon specialises in sugarcraft so the flowers and lace details are stunning.
We had quite a few guests who were intolerant to gluten so the groom’s mother also made a gluten-free chocolate cake and a gluten and dairy-free fruit cake.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
My earrings were very special as they were a present from my mother and my late grandmother. They’re beautiful drop pearls with little diamonds at the top in a floral cluster. They fitted well with the dress and my hairstyle so helped finish the overall look. I chose not to wear a bracelet or necklace as I didn’t feel I needed them – the dress was the star of the show!
The only other accessories I wore was a pretty pearl and crystal hair clip from the Alan Hannah Devoted range at Debenhams and a garter which my lovely seamstress Andrea made. I asked her to make me something that echoed my dress, using a similar style of lace with a silk bow like the one on my dress. She did a fantastic job, it was really beautiful.
My shoes were ivory satin ankle strap shoes from the Rainbow Club range at John Lewis – they were so comfortable! I don’t tend to wear heels often so wasn’t after anything too high. The Rainbow Club shoes are fantastic as they’re really padded – perfect when you’re on your feet all day. They also offer a dyeing service, so my plan is to now get them dyed another colour post-wedding so I can wear them again. They can colour match to any fabric so handy if you’re after something that matches eg. a bridesmaids dress.
And what did the groom wear?
The groom wore a black tail coat with grey striped trousers, along with an ivory waistcoat and cravat. The ushers wore the same outfit but with a pale blue cravat that matched the bridesmaids dresses. We thought it was important Nick had something slightly different so he stood out as the groom. We rented the suits from Dapper in Dorking and were very happy with how everything looked.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
We chose pale blue as our wedding colour so we needed to find something along those lines. I managed to find some beautiful pale blue Grecian style dresses on Asos – they suited all 3 of the girls and had the most elegant crossed backs. Asos have a lovely range of bridesmaids dresses that won’t break the bank!
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
My regular hairdresser did my bridesmaids’ hair and her aunt (who is amazing, she does all of the hair for the Virgin Airways marketing!) did my hair. She was very patient – it took me ages at our trial to work out what to finally have! I’m glad we took the time to try lots of different styles as I was really happy with my hair on the day. My bridesmaids did their own make-up whilst my mum and I had a professional make-up artist.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
The venue is so beautiful it didn’t need much decorating at all. We had some big flower displays in the room for the drinks reception and the wedding breakfast to lighten the dark wood panelling.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
Using boxes and wrapping paper I built a post box for collecting our cards – it was great fun and looked really smart in the end. We also put together a sweet bar, collecting jars over the year.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Remember to enjoy yourselves! Don’t get too hung up on little details in the run-up as everything will work out on the day.
What’s the best thing about being married?
The lovely ‘official’ feeling that comes with it. Whilst we had been together for nearly 10 years and thought little would change, there is something very special in calling each other ‘husband’ and ‘wife’. Even if it takes a little getting used to!
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
Brides Dress RevisitedEssex wedding photographerFlowers by LisaGreg Coltman PhotographyLisa Jordan FlowersNick BestonSharon Lord CakesSurrey wedding photographerWoldingham SchoolWoldingham School photographer